IBA / Astana 2016

Boxers at five weight classes move closer to World Championship gold as Sunday sees first Quarter-Final line-ups confirmed

May 22nd, 2016 / Astana 2016, IBA

It was a successful Sunday afternoon session in Astana’s Barys Arena for the Chinese, Russian and American teams as they registered three wins out of three at bantamweight, welterweight and light heavyweight, while Morrocco’s Soukayna Rabih earned Day 4’s quickest TKO with an explosive display against Canadian Alison Greey.

In the evening session, Russian Viktoriia Kuleshova turned around a cracking featherweight tie with Australia’s Anja Stridsman to earn a unanimous decision and a quarter final match-up with top seeded Italian Alessia Mesiano. The youngest member of the Chinese team, Meiling Gao, also advanced in style and will now face home favourite Aizhan Khojabekova on Tuesday afternoon for a place in the last four.

Denitsa Eliseeva ensured the Bulgarian team continued their strong performance so far in Astana with a comprehensive win against Japan’s Misuzu Hayashi. Eliseeva now will faces the tough Azeri Mahsati Hamzayeva in the quarters.

After a TKO win in the previous round, American Claressa Shields continued her quest for a second successive world middleweight title with a commanding display against Uzbekistan’s resilient Nafisakhon Askarova.

Shields will face Kazakhstan’s Violleta Knyazeva in the pick of the quarter-finals, while Britain’s Savannah Marshall takes on Chinese favourite Qian Li after both emerged victorious from tough battles. Li defeated double world champion Anna Laurell, while Marshall looked in golden form against India’s Pooja Rani.

Chinese Taipei’s former Junior World Champion Nien-Chin Chen again showed her potential with a standout performance against Brazil’s Andreia Bandeira.

“This is my first elite World Championships and my Brazilian opponent was a great boxer. The timing of my punches was working well so I was confident from the second round and now I am in the last eight, so I’m really satisfied with the performance,” said Chinese Taipei’s teenage talent Nien-Chin Chen after her bout.

Erika Guerrier edged a tight encounter with the compact Dominican Yenebier Guillen, and the French boxer will now meet number two seed Nouchka Fontijn. Like all her fellow quarter-finalists, the Dutch second seed knows that just one more victory will mean a precious place at Rio 2016.

It was a battle of confirmed Olympians that wrapped up the day’s action in Ring A with Morrocco’s Khadija Mardi winning a split decision against Canadian Ariane Fortin-Brochu, while Nouchka Fontijn was made to work for her victory over Poland’s Lidia Fidura in Ring B.